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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  April 1, 2013 10:00pm-1:00am EDT

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in 1862. so my question is, how did -- was his wife julia trying to redeem his good name after he died in the years following the civil war? >> well, actually, we're bog to let that story unfold over the next 15 or 20 minutes. thank you for asking the question. we will move on there in a couple of minutes. let me ask about as you're talking about the evolving role of the first lady. we learned that the whole -- madison era, bringing her name up again, practiced the art of parlor politics and that was emulated by her successors. is this the first instance of a first lady get much more personally involved in a political issue that we know of? >> when you're talking about a main matter of public legislation, of public policy, i think it's tough to find another first lady who is so overtly engaged in kind of effort whether it's -- whether that level of influence is successful
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or is meaningful or not. she's certainly being out there actively supporting her husband's position on annexization. she's talking to everyone she can about it. she's writing a great deal about it. she is holding all of the social events at the white house in order to influence that piece of legislation. so if we're talking about favorite lady as being involved in a matter of national public policy and being involved explicitly so, i think maybe you can take that to julia tyler. >> here's a question about first ladies and their perceived influence. jennifer sherman asked on twitter -- tyler having gotten to washington as first lady of the united states, secret service lingo, i think, believed she had a lot of influence rightly so. based on first lay dwris seen thus far, do you think they all felt this way, they were influential women as spouses of their influential husbands?
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>> i'm not so sure all of them wanted to be. that's the first thing. she's perhaps the first who really wanted to get involved in that way. the other women i think are willing to simply play the traditional role, although you have some woman who may be saying all kinds of things to their husbands. they're not making it public. we don't know exactly what we're saying for their husbands. in terms of that influence. but in terms of influencing outside of their own household, it's not likely they even care to serve in the next capacity, most of them. >> next is a question from linda spiro or spiro, snoke >> sps spyro. >> welcome. >> good evening. >> good evening. i would like to know how did it affect his relationship with julia and their marriage with their children from letitia? how did the relationship affect
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them? thank you for taking my call. >> thank you very much. did the criticism from the daughters affect their marriage, i think that's the question? >> no, there's no evidence that it did. in fact because the daughters came around relatively soon, except again for letitia, they real blame very big, fairly close-knit family all gathered there for the most part at sherwood forest. the civil war does a lot of that in bringing them more close together because the members of the family that are cast in other parts, like her son robert, who is in philadelphia, they have to come back to sherwood forest but they do see, start to see julia not necessarily as a stepmother but they refer to her, some of them refer to her as a sister and certainly come to love her and appreciate her and accept her into the family as such so that her children and letitia's children, although there are considerable age difference, they do end up more than reconciled. they become very, very close.
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>> you spoke earlier with party politics, john tyler was castigated by the wigs essentially, thrown out of the party for some of his positions. so he was the man without -- president without a party when the next selection came around in 18 4. no chance of him being nominated. >> especially since he alienated the other parties. there was no one there to really support him. >> it was certain to be a one-term president. >> absolutely. >> and with his loss then, how did the tylers recognize their departure from washington? >> partied, of course, and champagne. tyler -- the last two weeks of the tyler presidency is really nothing but julia gardner at her -- gardner tyler at her absolute extravagant best. they start off with a party for like 3,000 people. two weeks later this have a party to celebrate james knox polk and annexation of texas. and john tyler then says, you can no longer serve and the man was out a party.
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>> and they returned to sherwood forest. we're going to see a little bit of their life there next. before we do that, let's take a question from robin in norman beach, florida. hi, robin. >> hi, there. i'm following along at home with my first lady flash cards. >> perfect. >> i have a question with regard to fashion. was the bonnet or head dress so prevalent in earlier portrait for first ladies, with miss -- the first lady harrison, was ladies e matronly first or personal preference? and for tyler, when would the first president wear what we would regard a modern neck tie, what year? thank you. >> thank you. >> the development of the modern neck tie from the pro vad, i think you're starting to get -- you're starting to get well into the late 19th century by the time you're seeing something like that.
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the way that the fashion the presidents and shock my historian friends by even going into this subject. but the way that, that develops over time is really interesting in the 1820's and 1830's after james monroe leaves the white house. monroe is the last of the folks who are sort of holding on to the 18th century way of dressing. so year able to see much more modern dress progressively after that. >> on the women's side of fashion question, we follow rachel jackson also wearing sort of head bonnet as we did with anna harrison. was that city versus country, regional or was it changing companies? >> that had 12340g-to-do with it but you see with julia tyler something very different. you see the beads in her hair. she has feathers in her hair from time to time. so she dresses very differently. so it's probably more cosmopolitan with some of the first ladies because of the
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urban influence and age too. age does have something to do with it. >> anna harrison was if her mid--to-late 60's and julia tyler 24 years old when she came into the job so brought young sensibility with her. they left washington in 1845 and returned to their homes in the virginia tide water area, sherwood forest. by the way, how did it get its name >> it got its name because during one of -- during one of john tyler's breaks with the wigs, he was referred to as robin hood. so he embraced that and, therefore, called their home sherwood forest and julia embraced it too. she got there, she basically uniforms rms and gave to the enslaved men who rode the riverboat so she had bows and arrows as part of their -- as part of -- sewn on the collar as part of their uniforms. >> let's return to sherwood forest and learn more about what
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the tilers' life was like after the white house. >> the tylers, john tyler was born in charles city county at greenway. and he purchased this house at the end of his presidential term. he came down here once before he retired from the presidency, brought with him julia gardner. they were married. she said the hand of god and nature have been kind to my sherwood forest, but i can improve upon it. which she did. she had a look around the ceilings. she had moldings imported from italy. she had the mantel pieces brought in from italy and the knocker on the front door has -- you have to look hard to see it, it has sherwood forest on it but it's been meticulously polished through the years and that was one of her contributions to the house. julia and her mother were very,
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very close and we are exceedingly fortunate to have many letters written between julia and her mother from this plantation. in the hot summer weather. this house is only one room wide because want the breezes to go from the north to the south and from the south to the north. and so they would sit in the hall quite frequently and she sat in the open doorway that led to the south porch and wrote letters to her mother. and quite frequently she commented on the president, who kept his feet on the banister. and would read his newspaper and throw it on the floor, in the gray room is a table and it's the table upon which we are told john tile -- tyler sent julia tyler breakfast in her bedroom after he had been around the house. after his horseback ride, woe go to that table have breakfast with his wife, which he
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personally would carry in on a tray because she was still in bed. and also her mother writes her, and as i understand from other people that visit you that you sleep until 9:00 in the morning. and that the president brings you breakfast in bed. and she says, please do not take advantage of an elderly gentleman who dotes upon you. in the afternoons, julia writes to her mother frequently what she's doing on this plantation. she reports almost every purchase of furniture in the house, her brothers, david and alexander, who were still at prince ston came upon the suggestion of mrs. gardner her buying agent. for instance, the mirror was orderford a store called daudans and when it comes, she's very distressed because the edges of it cover at the bottom the edge of the mirror face of the window
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facing. her mother writes her back and says don't be so picky on minutia. she did love to entertain and we do have the record of all which she had. in honor of her sister margaret, who came here very frequently, and the portrait here is a portrait of julia and margaret. she was two years younger then margaret and this portrait was painted obviously to represent gardners allen because you can see the water in the background and they were very, very young when the portrait was done. anyway, the moral -- ball she had for margaret started at 9:00. then she said they danced the virginia real and waltz until the sun rose and finest champagne flowed unceasingly among one thing that julia did here for entertainment is they allowed all of the house servants' children to play continuously with the children
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of the big house. the matters, julia tyler speaks of her children playing with the children in the yard and she speaks of their dancing with the children in the yard. the supervision of a house servants and there were many. there were a total of almost 90 slaves. vacillating number between 61 and 92 on the plantation. so the house servants. i think there were 13 house servants here. and they were totally her supervision as was the care, the medical care of the other servants in the plantation. they were happy in this household. and she loved it. she refers to the melody of his voice. she always refers to his intelligence. she had a wonderful time here. >> and also the newlyweds then commenced raising the large family that we talked about. seven children born to the
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tylers before he died in 1862. is that when he passed? >> i think. >> so a question, she refers to the slavery issue which we have come back to throughout the program and country itself is marching inexorablely towards the civil war. what was john tyler's post white house role in that momentous period of time? > well, in 1861 there was an attempt to stay succession and john tyler was very instrumental in that particular, that last-ditch effort to do that. there was a peace conference held in washington and he was very much -- in february of 1861. and he was very much a part of that. once that failed he decided to back the confederacy, to back succession and so when he died, he had been elected to the confederate congress. he was very much a successist. and when he died, his coffin was
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covered with the confederate flag. and the north, the union, did not acknowledge his having passed. >> so we have a former president of the united states, who gets elected to the con fed rid congress. put that into perspective for us. >> it's really extraordinary. and john tyler, previous caller suggested that he really just tried to stem succession. i think not really sure how much his heart was in the washington peace conference that met in the old willard hotel, especially after there was a meeting in the middle of the conference with abraham lincoln, in which abraham lincoln would not back off from his pledge to halt the expansion of slavery. and the document he is all in when it comes to succession. and he's likening succession to 1776, that virginia has finally recovered all of the sovereignty that it had moved to the federal
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government in the constitution. and so they're back in the state that they were in 1776 in order to be able to achieve their independence. but then virginia for a brief period is again a sovereign, independent state. he's instrumental in the negotiations that bring virginia full bore into the confederacy. one of the interesting things about the washington peace conference is that that exact time that he's here in washington, ostensibly trying to ward off civil war, his granddaughter letitia is in the montgomery, alabama, dedicating the new capital of the confederacy by raising the new stars and bars over that building. >> we have been showing you some of julia tyler's letters and here's one she wrote to her mother about the civil war. she wrote, the southerners are worn completely wrought up to it and would not be tampered with
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any longer. if such a thing should occur, it would be unfortunate for the north. not a good predictor what would happen. how did the civil war impact julia's life especially after john died? so what happened to her after john died? >> she leaves and she goes to -- to staten island to live with her mother and she spends the entire -- i think she actually goes to bermuda for a short period of time. yes, so she's not at sherwood forest. and, of course, she's impacted financially by the war because she loses her enslaved laborers, first of all, and she doesn't really -- she returns there to try to get it into some kind of order but she doesn't live there again, i don't believe. she spends the remaining years, i believe, in richmond. she has rented a home there and so she spends a lot of time in
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richmond but not in the county anymore. >> what is the public perception of her post war? >> in the south, quite good. in the north, not quite so good. she's still referred to in the south as the ex-president tress and something she insists upon. john tyler's memory is still revered in the south after the war as being somebody who's tible legitimize the cause of the confederacy and julia gardner tyler certainly is contributing kind of to this lost cause notion of something she refers to as holy southern cause. so she never -- there really sent demiped of rehabilitation of her husband because in the south she doesn't feel like he needs to be rehabilitated except when it comes to getting her pension. which is something she desperately needs. they have two homes, sherwood forest and summer home near hampton, virginia and they --
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which actually goes through the same kind of damage that sherwood forest goes through. she has to sell that property in order just to maintain sherwood forest, which again is mostly for them effectively to live in and smends a lot of the time fighting for her pension, which she doesn't get until 1881 when she's awarded $1,200 a year but the main argument against it is yes, she may have been first lady but your husband actually became a traitor to the united states so there's no reason why we should ever honor that. >> on the phone with us now is christopher leahy. he's an associate professor of history in new york and with his spouse is coeditor of the julia gardner tyler papers. mr. leahy, how voluminous are her papers? and what is the broad scope of what we can learn about this woman and the white house from them? >> well, her papers are very voluminous.
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there are two major collections. one at the sterling library at yale university and the other major collection at the college of william and mary. and we can learn pretty much everything about her life from the time that she marries john tyler in 1844 until just about the time that she dies in 1889. these are very rich source that cover every aspect of her life and her children's lives. >> we have been spending the past 45 minutes or so trying to paint a portrait of her. what does it feel thrike add to that from her work with your papers? >> well, you know, i think that history tends to remember julia for the verolty and the fact she was a young first lady for the first eight months but i think that obscures her true character. remember, she lived 27 years after her husband died so she had another life, literally another life after her husband passed way in 1862. and her papers reveal her to be
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a very strong woman, a practical woman, a very serious, self-possessed, self-assured, adaptable and very devoted to her family. she could be quite tenacious about her family, particularly her children if she felt their interests were being threatened. >> and what is happening with these papers? is there contemporary interest beyond your own is scholarship? talk to us about historical interest in julia tyler. >> well, the main problem with julia's papers is that she has penmanship only a mother could love. fortunately, my wife has become very adeptth at reading and going through the work, going through the papers. they're very difficult to read, which i think is part of the reason why scholars have not really exploited them for the potential that they hold. i think our work hopefully will bring more of her actual experiences to life, particularly the post-presidential years and particularly the years after her
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husband passed away in 1862. >> how did you get interested? >> well, i did my dissertation on john tyler's prepresidential career and i am currently at work on a manuscript, book manuscript on john tyler and it just seem a natural fit, natural progression from there once i got into the julia gardiner tyler papers, i realized i wasn't zpwre at reading them because of the penmenship and my wife very courageously, i think, is transcribe and them for me so i can do my work on the writing end. >> if someone is interested learning more, are any of the letters published online so they can read some of the letters for themselves? >> yes, i think there are some online. again, very difficult to read. she had a tendency to write -- she would write going left to right and then she would turn the paper and go left to right upside down so there's a very
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difficult process trying to read these. i don't know exactly if there are any online, how easy that would be for a researcher. >> thank you for telling bus your scholarship and we look forward is -- as your work progresses to learn more about this period of history through the writings of julia tyler. thanks for your time. >> thank you very much. >> we have just a few minutes. i would want to get a few more calls in. next one is from bill in fisher, indiana. hi, bill. >> hi, susan, enjoying your show very much and enjoying your two guests as well very much. i was wondering was julia a religious person? and i was wondering about her conversion to catholicism and how that influenced her later life. >> do you know? >> i think i will leave julia's document. >> was she religious, do you know? >> not really but she does join the catholic church later in life and i'm not sure why she actually does that.
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perhaps the church gains more by that then she does because she's always been that tension between protestants and catholics in this country. even though we don't have an official religion, most people think of america as being protestant place. but the fact that she did have a former first lady joining the catholic church in such a public way, i think, sort of elevated the status of catholicism a little bit. >> when in her life did she do this? >> this was i think -- i know it was later in life. yes, much later. a few years before she died, i believe. >> and john tyler is not especially religious guy. even by -- even sort of by the fiscal standards, letitia was a very strong episcopalian, his first wife. he really admired the strength of her faith in her. but john tyler was more of a -- more of a jeffersonian epicurean
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then he was anything else. >> and brett fred is watching us in san francisco and you're on now, fred. >> yes, hi, thank you. i was -- the three most powerful men in washington at the time were, of course, clay, webster and calhoun. i was wondering if there were but julia letitia more importantly, what was her attitude towards those three men? >> thank you. >> she certainly would have been very comfortable with calhoun. not so much clay. even though tyler had supported clay at one point. but as tyler became more separated from the wig party then she was going in that direction as well. webster, i'm not so sure but certainly calhoun would have been the person that she would have been closest to in terms of politically. >> at least webster had stuck in
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tyler's cabinet longer then any of the other original members of the harrison cabinet. but i think you're absolutely right. it does come down to where were they in terms of john tyler's politics as to exactly how she felt about them. >> smarget watching us from ft. river, new jersey. hello, you're on the air. >> hello. i'm enjoying this very much. i was wondering what president tyler died from? i read that he was elected a virginia representative to the confederate congress and that when he he was attending the session, he died jaste few minutes after midnight in 1862 and he was 71 years old. also, how old was he when he fathered his last child? >> all right. that's a question mr. stoermer, you know the answer to? >> he was 71. he was never sworn in as a member of the confederate congress. he was just about to be. so he was in richmond for that
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session. since it was early in -- in '62, from what we know, he had caught a cold and died at that age. the last child that they had, i think that he was 68 -- >> because she was 2 years old when he died. >> yes. >> next was a question from darla in austin, texas. after this history lesson in your state's annexation. what is your question for us? >> any question is was the controversy over the annexation of texas only about slavery or were there any other considerations such as considerations about the location and geography of texas being so close to mexico? >> thank you very much, anna medford? edna medford? >> it was all about slavery. in the 1840's and '50's, you can't really separate the whole struggle over the expansion of slavery into the west. it's about texas. it's about kansas later on.
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it's slavery front and center. >> now, we have been three, four minutes left and as we close out our discussion here. we had learned that julia tyler as a very young woman was very adept at publicity and creating an image for herself. gary robinson asked, how did the united states view her death or had she become private and largely forgotten by then? did she call upon those public relation skills to ensure her legacy? >> not really by the end of her life. she died in 1889. obviously there were a lot of other things going on in the country by then. she had been largely focusing on her family, focusing on her -- focusing on maybe a personal legacy in that sense in maintaining what the family could hold on to. something like sherwood forest so they can pass that on. in terms of the broader kind of working on that image later on in her life, so much of her
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energy was devoted to -- was devoted to the pension fight. was devoted to other things. that was far from her mind by then. >> as we close out here, we talked about a few things she did to advance the role of first lady in this country. how should we remember her historically? >> as the vivacious person she was. quite a bit ambitious. and i think that her story conveys the possibilities for first ladies not all of them pursued her path but she was able to do some things that were significant. >> and what would you say about that question, what is her legacy? >> i say the jury is still out. i think one of the great things about this particular series is helping uts re-evaluate what we mean by the first lady, by the institution of the first lady as part of the presidency itself and so you can see, again, the possibilities of a woman in that position. on the other hand, you can also see perhaps some of the
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limitations as with letitia and number of women we talked about throughout this program. and so i think maybe by the end of this series we can get together again and talk about, well, what have we learned about what is the first lady and therefore see what julia tyler's legacy really is. >> what should we think about john tyler's presidency? what was his contribution to america? >> i'm glad you got that question. >> oh, my god, you know, i cannot change my opinion of him. he's a person who turned his back on his own party. ok, that's one thing. e supported a cause that actually was creating serious issues for a whole group of people, a whole race of people. he was more than willing to perpetuate slavery forever if possible. so i can't separate his legacy from that. >> and next week we will learn about the life of his successor
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in the white house, james k. polk. and we look forward to you being involved with that when we do that. let me say thank you at this point to our two guests on the harrison and tyler presidency, edna greene medford, howard university here in washington, d.c. which she chairs the history dept and taylor stormer, historian for colonial williamsburg. thanks to both of you. this is produced in cooperation with the national white house historical association and we thank them for their help. thank you for being with us.
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>> next monday night, a well- educated woman from the late 1800's. we will trace sarah " as she helps lobby members of congress. then margaret taylor, who was as much a soldier as i was according to zachary taylor. margaret wanted nothing to do with politics and reportedly prayed for her husband's defeat, and although he wins the election, he dies 16 months after taking office. becomes firstre lady. she was the first first lady to
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have a job before entering the white house, turning its into a cultural center while .stablishing the first never our website has more about the first ladies, including a special session, welcome to the white house. it chronicles life in the white house during the tenure of the first ladies. we also offer a special edition of the book, presenting a biography and portrait of each first lady, comments from noted historians, and thoughts from michelle obama on the role of first ladies through history. now available at a discount at
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c-span.org/products. >> c-span, brought to you as a public service by your television providers. >> and a few moments, a discussion of iran's nuclear program. we will be air hour special on the lives of anna harrison, letitia tyler, and julia tyler. after that a plan to close control towers because of sequestration spending cuts. next, a brookings institution's forum. this is an hour and a half. you for inviting me to participate in the debate.
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i was in charge for a long time from 2009 until 2003, when i was , sofirst visitor to tehran i have been in charge, and i maintain some lines of communication. i think it is important to have a perspective on how the process has gone. what has been the most important ,oments that have taken place and the steps could have been
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taken. with all the difficulties we , but 2003 was the first wee we went to tehran, and .igned an important agreement we signed thent tehran agreements, and that it had two points. it would not start their capabilities and we would give it facilities for whatever they wanted a peaceful use of nuclear energy nuclear energy -- and economic help. that went for a year and then everything went ok. at the general elections, there was a change.
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they denounced that agreement. they did not sign the additional protocol and the holding did not succeed. then ahmadinejad came to power. it was a year-and-a-half and then we met with the supreme leader. he appointed someone with home we did most of the negotiations. laranjani, he is somebody you can talk to and engage with. the difficult part of negotiation for me but irrational part of the negotiations to a certain extent. i will tell you that it started from you will have to suspend and we will offer you something.
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we ended up with that being impossible. they did not suspend. the non-proliferation treaty would be maintained and they would regain their dignity. the most important thing was dignity. and self interest. you have to find an agreement between dignity and self interest. you listen to those two words
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over and over again. the questions is we have not been able to find an equilibrium. whenever they ask for dignity, we could not give it to them. today they are accepting sanctions. [indiscernible] keep that in mind, because we will talk about that. momentsmost important when we offer a new proposal, which is freeze. thestop your centrifuge at level you have the day of the agreement and we will not take sanctions out , but we would maintain the level of sanctions at the same level. that was an interesting proposal, but it was misunderstood at the beginning by laranjani. it failed, because they did not want to take a position to stop
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assembling the centrifuge. there were not ready to give up any rights. so then we continued with that and presented in iran a more formalized freeze program and the visited with people from energy and other corporations. the most important thing is that proposal that i took with me signed by everybody. it was signed by condoleezza rice for the first time. ministers from european union always signs, but this one was signed by condoleezza rice. that was a shock for them that the americans stepped into the picture in this manner with a
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signature from the secretary of state. we thought that would give oxygen to the process, but that was a failure. president putin went to see the supreme leader supporting my proposal. the result was a failure, not only a failure of the proposal but a failure of the negotiator laranjani. so picture that moment with all the effort we had done. then we appoint a negotiator. he did not have the capacity to negotiate. he was just somebody who would tell you what you received the morning before the meeting but not having the flexibility to go into a real negotiation. we went until geneva 2009 which was a very important meeting for the first time in the negotiations. that was a very good meeting. i provided for a bilateral meeting.
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it was in that we thought we had agreed on uranium enriched to 20% and to enrich it outside the country. at the end of the day -- and there's much more informational about that, but i do think at that time it was a moment that saw the possibility of agreement. if you analyze that period of time, there was a sentiment that it was possibly to get an agreement. we agreed formally on a referendum for 48 hours, but the whole thing was broken in those 48 hours. but we were close at the moment. let me tell you the results i see. what i see is several problems. we have elections in tehran.
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getould be difficult to something going before the presidential elections. at the same time we have pressure from israel. i don't know exactly how had been a good agreement between benjamin netanyahu and president obama. whatever time is left will be short. the second big problem we have is syria. i don't think it will be possible deal with iran without solving syria. syria has a deeper relationship
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with iran. it's deeper even between two members of nato. they really have a very intense relationship. we thought solving that problem would be very difficult to get to the negotiations. for tehran, syria is a very important factor. for that we need to have russia. we have two problems. the link between iran and syria. and we. -- and we have the p5. so we have a pretty bad situation. what we have in front of us is that. the other thing i like to mention is sanctions.
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sanctions to be reviewed before the end of this summer. today we have been able to put tough sanctions on iran that are hitting their economy, but they are still maintaining the price of oil at a level that is supportable. that's because the production is there. imagine for a moment the economy goes a little better, there are more needs of oil. iran is selling gas to china at a very low cost. if the economy grows globally, it will be very difficult to stop the most important thing we have is that iran would not able to export any oil. if china agrees not to keep buying oil and gas from iran. so we have a really complicated picture in front of us. i think the iranians are really
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concerned. they know they are going against self-interest as far as the economy is concerned. it seems they have not found the money, would you give them the capacity to come out of the negotiations with their dignity they keep saying always the same pink, "we don't want to be a nuclear power, we want to be recognized as a regional power this is open. "we don't want to be a nuclear power. we want to be recognized as a regional power." there are many more things, but i will stop here. >> thank you. javier has done a very good job
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of describing the ups and downs and frustrations and difficulties of trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with iran of the past decade. my expectation was that those ups and downs and difficulties and frustrations will continue for the foreseeable future. why? first, there's a fundamental difference among the parties on what the objectives of these negotiations are. from the standpoint of the united states, working through the p5 + one, we are trying to limit iran pose the capacity to produce nuclear weapons, by physically limiting their ability to produce the materials and by increasing means of monitoring their nuclear program
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so that we can detect future efforts to build a secret facilities. that's our objective. from iran poses standpoint, the objective is the opposite. they want to create the capacity to produce nuclear weapons, which means having an unrestricted program to produce enriched uranium with as little monitoring as possible, whatever is required. so both sides have a very different view and national interest in terms of what we are trying to achieve. second, there's a fundamental disconnect in terms of what i would call the legal framework that they approached the negotiations, from the standpoint negotiationsthe p5 + 1 comic-con onus is on iran to demonstrate its program is peaceful, by complying with various u.n. security council resolutions and iaea resolutions that call on iran to suspend some parts of their nuclear program, cooperate, and so on. from iran's standpoint, these un security council and iaea acts
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are not considered legitimate. they are not required to comply with any of these resolutions. they should be treated like any other party in terms of enjoying an extensive civil nuclear program under iaea and safeguards. given these fundamental differences and interests and perspectives, the theory of the p5-plus-1 has been to try to at least get agreement on some modest measures that would limit iran's nuclear program in some ways in exchange for limiting sanctions, in the hope that would create confidence and create a context that would make it possible to try to negotiate a more cooperative agreement and at the same time nuclear program.
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even in this very modest area, but two sides are very far apart in terms of the quid pro quo. both sides accept the basic concept we are talking about limits on the nuclear program in exchange for limits on sanctions, but when you get down to the details, they are very far apart. the p5-plus-1 are asking for action on the part of iran in terms of limiting their nuclear program, shutting down one, stopping production of 20%, in exchange for modest but concrete sanctions relief. in exchange, the iranians are demanding total lifting of all sanctions in exchange for stopping production of 20%,
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something that they could reverse overnight. even in terms of a quid pro quo for a sort of modest step, there's a long way to go before the two sides could come to an agreement. i don't expect there to be in agreement certainly before the presidential elections in june in iran. nonetheless, both sides have an interest in keeping this process alive, so i expect talks to continue. there may be some incremental progress in terms of a slight narrowing of these big differences among the parties, but i don't think it will come to an agreement. at the same time, even if there is not a formal deal, i do think the iranians are exercising some constraints on the program for political reasons, mainly because in my view the supreme leader is focusing now on managing the presidential election and does not want to have to deal with a foreign-policy crisis. for example, the iranians are
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deliberately converting enough of their 20% in rich uranium to oxide form in order to stay below the red line that by mr. netanyahu identified last year at the un. it appears as though the iranians are deliberately slowing down those parts of the program that they fear could trigger even more sanctions or even a military strike, for the time being. that may change after the presidential election. but for now there seems to be some limits on the program. for the future, the most important question is whether or not it's possible to increase
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the current level of sanctions by cutting even further the market that iran enjoys in terms of oil exports. that is a real question. up to now, the sanctions have been remarkably successful in terms of limiting iran's oil exports, because there have been alternative sources of oil. so its main customers of china, india, japan, korea have been willing to cut back. and has had a substantial impact. whether that can continue in the future depends on the global balance of supply and demand for oil. it will depend on economic activity, whether there's an economic recovery and what impact that has on oil. the question of oil exports is the greatest concern. is it possible for the additional cuts to be made, it makes it much more likely that there could at least be an interim agreement that would limit further sanctions in exchange for some limits on the nuclear program and potentially create a basis for trying to negotiate a comprehensive agreement, even if that negotiation fails, it still creates some breathing room in
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terms of limiting the program and slowing down the nuclear o'clock and making a military attack less necessary. i will stop there. >> thank you, gary. one question to both of you prepare have been times that you referred to 2009, the iranians did agree to basically out their stockpile enriched to 20% in exchange for them getting fuel for their research reactor. but the iranians walked back from that deal with in a couple days. it appears that within tehran there are differences on how to engage the question. how does that show up at the negotiating table? >> 2009 was important for many reasons. september 2009 it was discovered another facility for enriched uranium which they had declared to the agency. the the 5 plus the europeans we
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-- found out the intelligence that it was going on. beforeinformation september, but it was made public. that was a big shock for iran to have to forthis -- to have to admit this. it was made public that they had another facility that had not been declared. that left iran with some of its friends frustrated with that discovery. the second thing is that for the first time obama was already in power and for the first time the united states allowed an american to be at the table. it was burns at first. we arranged to have bilateral talks in geneva. the climate was very good.
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we agreed on something very importanti veryran at that time was running out of fuel to put into the reactor that would create isotopes for medicine. argentina had been the country historically that was putting the enriched uranium into the reactor to produce isotopes. that was a difficult moment. we expected to get out the same amount we put in. one enriched and then put the other. [indiscernible] we had a good meeting. we had a press conference. we had an agreement that we would not contradict one another.
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we thought, or at least i thought we celebrated. gary knows what happened to the two days after. big battles. the supreme leader at the end did not accept the deal. that was the end. for me that was the end. i was frustrated. i had maintained talks with laranjani. he is now running for president. he is an important figure.
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let's see if he is elected president. at the end of the day, the supreme leader is the one who makes the deals. which the big problems has made things difficult is who is the interlocal tour. anhave a system of naming interlocal tour. but on the other side they may not match with the interlocutor on the other side. >> i agree. the decision making process in tehran is very obscure. moreobably makes it much complicated in terms of trying to reach an agreement, especially because the political competition among the various figures in iran becomes
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intertwined with the nuclear negotiations. and so, for the 2009 episode, that was a good example where president ahmadinejad was clearly in favor the deal and to some extent the opponents were motivated, aside from the merits of the agreement, there were motivated by a desire to prevent him from taking credit for making progress. the collapse of the 2009 deal was a critical turning point at least in terms of what the administration's receptions were. it demonstrated how difficult it would be to get even a very modest agreement and shifted the president's policy to one that emphasized increasing pressure as a way to gain leverage and privilege. then we embarked on a very difficult six-month negotiation for and other u.n. security council resolution.
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moste very last moment, as of you remember, brazil and turkey and iran announced an agreement which was used -- seen in the white house as a transparent effort to try to delay sanctions. so we went ahead with sanctions. since then, we and the iranians have been locked in this spiral where we keep increasing sanctions as the negotiations make no progress. they keep going ahead with their nuclear program. both sides are trying to build up bargaining leverage. we have not reached a point yet where some kind of an agreement that would relax the sanctions and nuclear activities is possible. >> let me open the floor to questions. please wait for a microphone to a rise endecott's state your name and affiliation. right here.
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>> i am a washington correspondent for a south korea news agency. good to see you here. i have a question. today the washington post reported about speculation on nuclear ties between iran and north korea. what is your assessment of the problem? also, let me ask about north korea's nuclear test last month. whether it was plutonium or uranium-based nuclear test. what's your opinion? thank you. >> as to what kind of material was used in the test, i don't
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think we know. there was no way to measure whether it was plutonium or highly enriched uranium. it could been either. in terms of nuclear ties between iran and north korea, i am not aware of any, but it is something we have to be concerned about, because we know there is an extensive cooperation in the missile area and one could imagine that north korea could provide substantial assistance to iran in terms of enrichment. i expect the north koreans are considerably more advanced than the iranians are in terms of mastering centrifuge technology. so i think it is something we have to keep a close eye on. we know north korea in the past has been willing to sell nuclear technology and materials, such as the reactor they were building in syria. >> right here. >> howard morgan, a private citizen.
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what's our rationale for threatening war against iran in order to perpetuate the israeli monopoly on nuclear weapons in the middle east? why is a nuclear weapon-free middle east not part of the discussion? >> it is cool. -- it is. it was made clear about the facility. it was the first time [indiscernible]. one of the agreements of that summit was to try to work card -- hard in two years to get the possibility of beginning a discussion about free-trade zone in the middle east. somebody had to be appointed to prepare that summit. it has not taken place. it was in 2009, the moment in
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which motion in that direction was started. it think that sort continues. the second phase did not take place for lack of agreement among the multi-billion players. it is something which was already on the table for the first time. president obama put it on the table in the general assembly. for the first time, there was a meeting at the highest level of the ninth revelation -- nonproliferation treaty. >> president obama has explained in speeches and interviews why he thinks a nuclear-armed iran is not acceptable from the standpoint of u.s. national interest. the risk that it would lead to further proliferation in the region, the risk that a nuclear- arms to iran would threaten our allies such as israel and the saudis and others, the risk that it might on purpose or
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inadvertently provide weapons to terrorists. so president has a very clear basis on which to say that he will use any means necessary including military force to stop iran from having nuclear weapons. the fact that israel has nuclear weapons is really a separate issue. as javier has said, there's a process to try to achieve progress toward a nuclear weapons-free zone in the middle east. that will not bear fruit anytime soon, especially given the current circumstances in the region. supporttries in theory such a nuclear weapons-free zone including israel. the question is what kind of conditions would be necessary before you could put that in place. the conditions in the middle
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east are not rights for that now, clearly. -- ripe for that now. >> barbara from the atlantic council. good to see both of you gentlemen. two questions. first, you think as long as we're talking to the iranians we will not be bombing them? also, the computer virus that the obama administration inherited from the bush administration, was it a legitimate use of force against iran? >> very difficult questions. on the virus, i think that the most important mistake was to recognize who had done that. for a long time, it was there and nobody knew who was the father or mother of the virus. suddenly, for the sake of prestige, somebody decided to
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claim the company who had put it it. that goes to the heart of your question. if you are first person who put the virus in cyberspace, you are completely lost. i think it's a mistake. anyway. the second thing i would like to say, and i am convinced of this and maybe everybody is not convinced, i think that the level of consistency and coherence on the p five is diminishing. it's diminishing first because of syria. syria, china, and russia are not in the same place that the
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americans and europeans are. that is an important issue. it's not a minor issue. as i said before, iran, syria is an important relationship. it will be difficult to solve. i am very concerned that as time goes by, the p5 are getting concerted action on many issues, not only syria. inas surprised the other day south africa, the level of statement that they made, for the first time i saw they wanted to move in international affairs, it was very clear. [indiscernible]
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the question of the level of energy and price of energy in the markets is important. after 2014 we have an opening sufficient have production to be maintained at 4% of total production. as the global economy grows a bit, the level of the canucks to maintain the level of iran down, it will be very difficult without a spike in price. and gas company has been hard to maintain it. if the economy grows, the equilibrium, that is something the chinese don't want to, for prices to go up. the chinese will have to stop the volumes of imports they are getting from iran.
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>> the primary factor that determines whether or not military force is used is not what is happening around the diplomatic table. it's what happening on the ground. you can imagine a situation where the diplomacy continues without making any progress, but the iranians are cautious and careful to avoid taking actions that might trigger a military strike. that is the situation we are in now. the question is whether or not the supreme leader continues to exercise caution and whether or not he accurately anticipate
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what kind of actions might trigger a strike. >> what about stuxnet? >> i will not comment on that, but it's a game where high national statistics are at play and both sides are using all the leverage of power they have to achieve their interests. >> the first question about negotiation and military action, one of the concerns has been expressed in the west is that iran engage in negotiations. as they do, they get closer to the capability where they could very quickly deploy nuclear ability. is there some sort of thing you would want to see coming out of these negotiations this weekend that might be a signal that there is at a decision on the part of tehran to actually try to find a solution? what would be your minimum take away from the discussions that would say maybe there's an indication iran does want to sign this -- find a solution? but it's a mistake to try to set the bar. if they agree to another round of meetings, that will be the process continuing. but i think that it's not realistic to expect that there would be some kind of breakthrough in these talks.
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both sides are using diplomacy for own purposes. the iranians use diplomacy in effort to try and show there's progress and therefore aren'ther sanctions justified. to the extent it looks like there's progress, it helps maintain the value of the currency. the u.s. tries to use diplomacy to demonstrate iran is being unreasonable and therefore more
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sanctions are required. that process will continue. if the next round of talks does not produce results, at some point the u.s. and european union will be looking for additional sanctions in order to increase pressure. >> michael gordon, "new york times. you mentioned the restraint that iran is pursuing. can you address the new centrifuges that there also pursuing and what the strategic implications are for break out scenario and what policy talented they pose in the sense of whether iran can get to a place where they can take action faster than the international community could respond? >> very good question. lots of depth and ways of looking at these scenarios. basically, there are twa's iran could produce -- - two ways. one is to use a facility under iaea inspection. that's the breakout scenario where they would either deny the inspectors access or they would kick out the inspectors and as quickly as possible they would produce enough highly enriched uranium for nuclear device. aret now there are -- they
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probably at least a couple months away from being able to do that. as they increase capacity, as they put in more centrifuges, more efficient and more parcel centrifuges, like this new generation, they might be able to squeeze down that break out time to a couple weeks or even less. in that case, it would be theoretically possible that they could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb before the international community could act. i think there are still -- they are still probably a couple years away from having that capacity, because they would need to put in a lot more these more advanced centrifuges in order to do that. the other scenario is that they would build a secret facility and then produce weapons-grade uranium, taking their time, and then once they have enough, there would be in a position to confront the world.
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isknow that second approach the one iran favors. twice now they try to build secret enrichment plants. my guess is that some point in the future they will try to build another secret enrichment plant, because that approached from their standpoint poses much fewer threats. a they try to break out using facility that is under safeguards, they run the risk it would be detected and the u.s. or israel or others would act against them, would destroy that facility before it could achieve -- produce enough weapons-grade uranium. the question that michael is raising was the right one, that if we continue for a couple more years in this current pattern, the iranians can be closer and closer to having a breakout capacity, and they will use that as a threat. they will say that unless a certain sanction is lifted, they would be forced to take action. i don't think they are there now.
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i think they are too far away from that being able to move quickly. >> it's not a simple thing to do. one thing is to have enriched 80% or 90%. you can continue working on weapon is asian and the very advanced in a position even if you don't have 90% achieved. it may be a crossing point where it is shorter than we expect the actual use of a bomb. provide repair the only thing i would add is we probably have greater capacity to detect and prevent the production of weapons-grade material, as opposed to detecting and preventing ionization. impossible say it's to detect, but it's much more difficult, because it can be done with a fewer number of
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people and at facilities that are easier to hide. >> if the iranians want to go for a very basic nuclear weapon -- the weapon was used on hiroshima was never tested -- but if they want a more advanced weapon that could be put on a ballistic missile, and it's a much more sophisticated and they probably would want to test before they actually used to the capability. >> my sense is yes, they after test. tests may be done through the computer. i don't think they have the capacity. a country that already has the capacity can test the next level of bombs without doing a real test. is last example we have north korea and pakistan.
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they had to do the test. today with the level of the intermission rehab and the capacity of intelligence we have, i think this is almost impossible not to be detected. the capacity of intelligence we have, a number of satellites looking, it would be very difficult for the test not to be detected. >> this is another good example where the iranians have imposed political constraints on the program. they have a very extensive -- comprehensible organization program which was detected -- which was revealed. they stopped it in 2003. at some point in the future i could easily imagine them starting that program again in hopes they would be able to achieve a lot of the preparation work necessary for nuclear test. i agree that ultimately it's likely they would conduct a
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nuclear test in order to demonstrate that they have a credible nuclear capacity. >> a question in back. >> brian, washington correspondent for euro politics. with the heating up of rhetoric in north korea and the military maneuvers, what impact will that have on the iran nuclear talks? will it take out the momentum because north korea looks to be more of an urgent threat at the moment? or could it have a positive effect? parts i don't think it has any impact. all the p5-plus-1 countries are capable of dealing with several different problems at the same time. so i don't think it's likely to have a big impact. to some extent, korea is a good example where there is pretty good cooperation, certainly among the u.s. and china and russia.
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all of us want to avoid a military conflict on the peninsula. i don't think that necessarily translates into greater cooperation on iran. >> ok. >> edward levine, former senate staff member. if the supreme leader is the key to getting iran to agree to, a sensible negotiations, and if he has a particular concern for a rimbaud's the dignity -- iran's dignity, what part has been given to enlisting help from some third party whose mere presence would of course some of that dignity to iran and also create a channel to the supreme leader? >> and has been tried with turkey. thaty has been a country has been tried with the p5- plus-1.
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i have been talking to the turks a lot. as you know, the last time with brazil, all that was supposed be -- we considered it to be a little bit of a ploy. muchy then separated very from the negotiations. maybe now with the position they have taken with israel, maybe there's another moment turkey can be used. the supreme leader does not talk to leaders that he has not met with. he met with putin in 1997 when he went to the supreme leader, he was received by the supreme leader. laranjani was there. putin could not convince the supreme leader. i cannot imagine other leaders that could have a good relationship with the supreme leader with the exception of muslim countries.
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turkey continues to been the most and hand. don't forget turkey is against the regime in syria. it is difficult to find the perfect interlocutor. it's. been a long it's difficult to negotiate without bilateral talks. >> we cannot really psychoanalyze the supreme leader. mynity is less important in view than he wants to have a nuclear weapons capacity. second, here and looks at the
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nuclear issue as part of a much broader struggle with the united states. he believes the united states is trying to destroy the islamic republic. we are using the nuclear issue in order to try to achieve that the political and economic pressure, he thinks. the supreme leader has obstructed the negotiations. he has created a self- fulfillment processing, in my
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view. economiceking sanctions which could potentially pose a threat to the survival of the regime, if there's enough public unhappiness with the economic damage that he has brought on his own country and through their mismanagement as well. >> hi, lara jake's with associated press. yuka spoken a lot this morning about the house syria and the p five negotiations are intertwined. i wonder what effect u.s. military intervention in syria might have on some of the negotiations, not only recognizing this would likely be seen as hostile by tehran but also the effect that it would amount to a proxy war with russia and the chinese would likely follow the russian lead. if you could talk about that?
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>> i cannot speak with knowledge. i'm not in office. the only information i have is information that i have through friends which are engaged in this. i think that the united states has not taken a more active role in syria from the beginning because they did not want to disturb the possibility -- to give them the space to negotiate with tehran. they probably knew that getting very engaged even militarily could hurt potential negotiations with tehran. nowadays the situation is a little different, because the situation within syria is much worse than what it was at the beginning. byappened to meet yesterday coincidence on the train coming from new york a person coming here. he was telling me the situation. he told me that he did not think [indiscernible].
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but the situation is much worse and closer to the end. i think we have not played the russian card sufficiently tough. remember that russia, when [indiscernible] on syria, they justified the sanctions on libya. they said there were topics to be discussed with the united states. one was missile defense. the fourth phase was being thrown forward a many years. i do not know. that has not been played sufficiently with russia. we need to be much more engaged in order to resolve the syrian question. that is a concern that i have. i think we have not played the russian cards right. remember that russia justified
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for the use of military action in libya. also, one of the moon was a missile defense. that has not been played sufficiently strong i think with russia. i think with russia we need to be much more engaged in order to question andyrian the question of tehran. that is a concern that i have. i was in moscow two weeks before this one, and i met with putin, medvedev, and i see a sentiment that is not better, the
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relationship with syria, etc. my fear is it may get cooler with relation to tehran. the p5 plus 1 has been a miracle. we passed a moment together, which was very difficult, but i do not see the level of constructive work together. i think it is diminishing. >> i would say you can argue it either way, but the collapse of assad makes a nuclear deal more likely, because that makes the supreme leader more likely to
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make tactical some concessions in order to relieve further isolation. that will not change his fundamental interest in acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. it will confirm for him that the best way to defend himself against the united states is to have that capacity. in terms of near term tactical decisions, the more he feels isolated and threatened, the more likely it is he will make thest concessions to have somee anti-missile fatwa by khamenei? >> i do not know much about theology, but it would useful basis on which supreme leader and the
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iranian government could justify some limits on the program. i think we would -- we would welcome, if the iranians want to construct a theory for why they are accepting limits on the program because the supreme -- my impression is it can be changed pretty easily. >> thank you very much. i want to pose a question to both the ambassador and dr. samore, and the question in which two distinct observations were made. the first is that the interests of the supreme leader is not dignity, but that he believes
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iran should have the bomb. the second is the bomb question as only one piece of the frame and relationship with the united states, which is that what we are really after is a regime change. given those two factors, if one accepts them, and for what it is worth, i do, what possible factors lie out of there? the ambassador said that the road to tehran may run through damascus.
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presidential election, there is the prospect at some point khamenei does not live forever. what keeps us in the game, and why is it that president obama continues to make statements that appeared to be indefensible about we will do takes to prevent iran from having a bomb? >> let me take a crack at that. what you said is exactly right. i think it is true the supreme leader wants to avoid going to war with the united states, because he knows he will lose and that could lead to the end of the islamic republic.
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inhas demonstrated caution terms of limiting the nuclear program in order to avoid what he believes is a red line that could trigger a military attack. the value with everything we have done in terms of public pressure, sanctions, threats of war, all of that has helped to reinforce his caution and has led to constraints, has led -- and the iranians could be moving much more -- moving forward much more quickly, but they have self-imposed constraints in order to avoid those risks. whatever happens at the diplomatic table, we have an interest to make clear that we would not accept iran having nuclear weapons and we are prepared to use military force, if necessary, and we will increase economic and political pressure. that has a positive impact. >> a contradiction which i think is the legitimacy of action is going high. it is difficult to imagine after syria, etc., and after history how a military action
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could have legitimacy. how is illegitimacy found? well, we have to find the legitimacy in the security council. we do not have the p5 together, it will be quite difficult to do it, and i would say difficult to have international community together. it is not a trivial thing. what we're talking about, after the advent of libya, syria, and we found it difficult the security council resolution, maintaining the international community coming together.
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i think we have a lot of problems. wehave another problem that have not mentioned. suppose that we get an agreement, and that agreement will have to lift sanctions, rapidly. you have the congress of the united states that has to do it. that is not an easy task, either. and that is known by the supreme leader, also. so we have some other problems that have to be considered that makes the problem. delicate and difficult. >> hi. thementioned earlier both
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possibilities on the other side of the iranian election in june, that they will have greater flexibility for dialogue as well as lifting off the brakes it has been putting on, 20% enriched uranium, as well as other activities. i wonder whether you see an outcome of escalation or the escalation been more likely and what factors you see playing into that most. i would be interested in the ambassador's take as well. thank you. >> either is possible. leaderld imagine the feeling more confident if the shores up his domestic situation, manages the elections, makes sure that ahmadinejad's candidate is not elected and he has somebody in
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the presidency who is compliant leader might feel he is in a stronger position to take to the next level, whether it is 20%, higher levels of enrichment their naval reactor program. one could imagine later this year there would be a confrontation. one could imagine he is in a stronger position, he actually has greater flexibility to make some tactical deal with the p5 plus 1 to relieve pressure. i do not know which way it will go, but as long as it is more likely to get a positive outcome if he believes there's more sanctions to come. if the leader believes the p5 plus 1 is reached the limit, then he will feel he can weather the storm and does not
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need to make concessions. >> i tend to agree with that. >> thank you. the national defense university. the two sides claim time is on your their side. what is your assessment? if we ever reach a deal with iran we have to sell in washington, and given the relationship with iran for 30 years, it would be hard. i imagine the president will have to ok it by the public and the congress. how do you think we can sell a deal domestically here? thank you? >> you have to sell any agreement on its merits. intendedchieves its
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results, then you have a strong basis on which to convince congress and the public that it is worth supporting. if the deal does not have a dramatic impact, if it is just cosmetic and allows the iranians to continue on their course of expanding the capacity to produce this material, the deal will not be supported. we have to keep in mind any agreement reached will be subject to strict monitoring. iran has demonstrated it is not shy about cheating on its international obligations, and it has a very long record of violating the safeguards agreements it has reached. one could imagine a situation where there was an agreement and some ways down the road it was revealed iran was violating it. >> then we would have to convince all the parties. saudi arabia would have to be convinced, and others. you understand what i mean.
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>> can you expand on the nuclear collaboration between russia, and are they legal under the mpt? >> yes, the cooperation between russia and iran is legal. we accept it, that the enrichment of uranium, for a nuclear reactor, but the product of that is produced in the reactor was taken by russia. theia was conscious of movement of the reactor, and
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that was accepted and to finish it and encouraged to put fuel in it. in my mind, yes. >> there have been instances where russian scientists have provided unauthorized nuclear assistance to iran, and president bush confronted president putin with the fact that a russian institute was helping with the heavy-water research reactor that was being built in iraq, and the government stopped that. there is a good record of the russian government limiting nuclear cooperation with iran reactor, which we have accepted. >> hi, i'm a law student at american university.
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theve a question about why military strike is even on the table, because haven't we learned our lessons from iraq? we have killed so many people, we have harmed our military, we have harmed our economy. why would we consider doing that with iran? as a business owner, why can't i buy oil from iran? the oil crisis, we were at 99 cents a gallon in 2001, and now we are $4. if we go to war with iran it will be eight bucks. americane hurting our economic interests to prevent somebody from pursuing their national defense strategies like any other country does? ofi see it as a clash interests. the iranians think having nuclear weapons or the capacity
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to produce nuclear weapons is necessary for their defense and to assert their position in the region. the u.s. for reasons that are produced understandable from our standpoint, we want to stop iran from having nuclear weapons because it would be threat to our interests and those of reference of the region. there's a clash of interests. i'm not saying anybody is right or wrong, but in international politics and if you have a clash of interests and you cannot reconcile them, then the ultimate recourse is the use of force. clearly, obama is not looking for opportunities to attack iran. he has made the case that we're not at that point where we have to make that choice, that there is still room for diplomacy, sanctions and pressure, still
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some possibility that that will achieve results. at the end of the day, he says the matter is so important to the united states that he would be willing to use force if necessary. people may disagree with that judgment, but that is the judgment that he has made and explained publicly. >> my question is for gary. isyou think the u.s. prepared to acknowledge iran's right to enrich at some levels, 5%, at some point? >> if you had an agreement that satisfied our goal of limiting iran's capacity, ability to produce nuclear weapons, i think some limited enrichment as part of satisfying iran's dignity, some face-saving be acceptable to us. i do not see any evidence that
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iran is prepared to accept the kind of limited enrichment that we would really require in order to achieve the results of physically limiting what they are capable of doing. >> allow me to say, i do not think it is imaginable in an agreement with the recognition of enrichment by iran. that is the trick, how that is worked. i cannot imagine after having spent hours, cannot accept anything that takes the program to be disassembled. >> one of the complications of this negotiation is the are insisting they're right to enrichment be recognized by the p5 plus 1, if
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they have not acknowledged that the obligations imposed by the security council and the iaea to demonstrate that their actions are peaceful. it is hard to imagine a deal where we accept their principle they did not accept ours. if we had a mutual acceptance where we're prepared to acknowledge once confidence is assured, they could pursue enrichment, but one would expect in return they would acknowledge that they are obligated by the security council to take actions, which includes a suspension of their enrichment program until confidence is restored. >> i am from iraq. theuestion is about
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negotiations and the details. were there other topics other than the nuclear program that iran talked about, like iran's destabilizing role in the middle east in supporting terrorist groups in iraq, lebanon? and other issues internally for iran, like its horrible human rights violations and democracy? >> in negotiations, it was first and negotiation with iran and then the possibility we get engaged with this negotiation had them. there are many other topics that we would like to talk to them. remember that iran was at the table in the agreements in afghanistan, in those negotiations, that iran was at the table. at a given moment, the bush administration was thinking
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about putting on afghanistan negotiations, but nothing having created the climate, appropriate on the nuclear potential other topics. >> the p5 plus 1 talks were created to address the nuclear issue. that was the primary focus in terms of what they would like the agenda to focus on. it is true the iranians have said we want at a much broader discussion, talk about syria,
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bahrain, and that has been resisted by the p5 plus 1 because we do not want to create anxiety on the part of other countries in the region that we are negotiating some kind of regional arrangements with iranians when they are not present at the table to have their interests represented. >> we have five minutes left and we have way more hands. i'm going to take three more questions, and then we will answer those. >> as we approach the end, this has been interesting. i would like to move for a second to the framework of perceptions. the president's statements have led to a perception that this year or next year are critical years, that if we do not solve the nuclear issue in iran that we will be moving toward a conflict, and we seem to be discussing this with the israelis, although in the last meetings, netanyahu moved back
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from that. on the other hand, as this discussion brought out, the weaponization has a long ways to go, and true weaponization might not at all occur in the presidency of president obama. are we running a risk here of perhaps being too smart by half and that we are sort of creating a perception of an imminent danger and conflict? it is not fact, progressing as far as we know. and it would take some time, really talking about something beyond the next three years?
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>> i was born in tehran, height represent global bridges for humanity. it seems to me that for many years, america has been engaged and the line iran that america thinks is right. and we have, up to this point, it is a very hard and the iranians are not that easy to be pushed forward. turkish for if the the 20%, we agreed upon that, but you give us the 20%, and we will tell you when it is ready. that is acceptable to them. and when you're negotiating, you have some kind of principle
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scholar. we come to that point, to recognize that, iran may be a regional power, and given what our interests are in that area, we can take that interest and we are capable and it won't cost us anything. the question about that, after all of these discussions, it shows the evidence of solving the problem that is very important. >> last question.
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>> ambassador, is there any price for that you think they would be willing to pay that iran could except for the 20%, for a small deal? and if not in some reasonable amount of time, i am particularly interested what you them a moreing comprehensive offer. >> on the timetable, i think it is determined by political decisions and calculations. if the supreme leader does a news that bring this matter to a head this year, there are a lack of things we could do to force president obama's had that we might be facing a military conflict in the near future. the supreme leader wants to
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avoid actions that have the united states act. and all of this will continue for years. i think it remains to be seen whether or not it is critical or whether this problem will continue pretty much along the current pattern for the next couple of years and for the rest of president obama's term. the truth is, the u.s. and iran are at loggerheads on almost every issue. i agree that this has really cast a shadow over the negotiations and whether it is a peace process, u.s. forces in the persian gulf, almost every issue. can deal with the nuclear issue and isolation.
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i think it is possible that iran would decide after the presidential elections to accept a small deal on the table the owl. have i think it is a pretty good deal if they are wanting to and i thinkrespite, it would it least slow down the sanctions trained. the trouble of putting forward a big idea is that it is virtually guaranteed to fail. in terms of what the nuclear program will look like, i think it is unacceptable because it would take away their nuclear weapons, and the whole purpose of the program. weller that lauren victors in our third prize winners in the student camera contest. and thecumentary
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message focuses on inefficient government spending. >> $100,000 -- $5.8 million -- $3 million -- ♪ >> beer president obama, the economy is approaching a fiscal clef. government spending is part of the problem and we need a solution. help us. please. >> the average american family
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has about $35,000 a year and the government has $2.50 trillion. both have to budget in order to avoid that. the american family spends $47,000 a year, 4% not justified. the federal government has $3.50 trillion dollars a year. 33 percent side is not justified. that is a lot of spending to eliminate in order to avoid that. >> our level of concern is high. i don't know if you call it red or orange going in the red. have a total national government that that is approximately the size of the national economy. and our debt is the size of the economy, over $16 trillion.
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problem with what has happened in the course of the last several years, the recession led to declines in tax revenues. congress introduced tax cuts that caused the deficit to grow further and we have federal government spending, stimulus spending that was much higher than was the case before the recession started. hit in debtsion skyrocketed. what caused the debt to reach such a high point? >> we want the government services. we want military spending in welfare spending. all of the spending of the federal government. >> youth and think of this as going into the mall with your dad goes the credit card.
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dad's creditour card. you could have fought, but in the end, you are not the ones paying the bill. but you have to think of a different way. you're going to the mall with your grandchild. that is what we are doing with the federal government. all of these promises to provide programs and benefits. forwardssing that bill a few generations. without their involvement in the process. >> the aledo of the problem began, we must attack at its core the largest spending problem. >> of the largest spending we do is tax cuts. we have far more tax cuts to people that we probably say don't deserve it that to a body like the farm subsidy program or
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a housing program or an education program. that is the secret we will discuss as well as the fact that most of the money we spend, the federal operating budget comes out of the department of defense. >> we spend so much more on national defense than any country in the world. you could add up any country in and control, growth, social security, and medicare. somebody is going to pay the bill one where the other. that bill, for older americans, is placed on all of us. through the tax system, social security, and medicare. those programs without question are the most significant is the big problems that we have. they do more than any problems
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we might dream of with regard to food stamps, welfare programs, social support, those things that are the traditional >> another way the federal government's budget is -- [indiscernible] groceries. buying store brands instead of name brands. out small things makes a little difference. pig difference, social security, medicare, and medicaid. >> if you could cut spending from the overfunded programs, which would you redirect the money to? >> i will take money away from military spending and use it to invest in this nation's infrastructure, roads, transportation networks generally, and invested in more
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generally. >> none. i would cut spending to cut spending. i would not redirect to underfunded programs at this point. we do not have that luxury right now. looking our keep children in the eye, knowing that we are going to give them a diminished future because we are spending their money today. >> that is the problem. i think that is why you are concerned as an eighth grader about the future here. you will pick up the tab for your grandparents demands. solution, one that will help us on the road to recovery. here are a few ways we believe we can get there. mess see now the fiscal that addresses all of us. we have to put aside our interests. we have got to try to come up with a solution. >> we need more accountability in terms of information,
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spendingt spending, our taxpayer dollars on. we have to come together. the deficit problem is a problem we have created. it is only by working together that we will be able to address the nation's problem. atyou can find this video studentcamp got word -- studentcam.org. >> c-span brought you as a public service by your television provider. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> in a few momentsa"first moments, "first ladies." air traffic control towers were closed because of sequestration
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spending cuts. after that, we will be air i ran's nuclear program. reair iran's nuclear program. ♪ >> she was not happy her husband had been elected president. she never made it to washington. >> when he resigned, he and his wife and their family moved to williamsburg. it was here that letitia tyler suffered a stroke. john tyler learned he was elected as vice president of william perry region william henry harrison. it is here that he became 10th president of the united states, so she learned she became the
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first lady. >> she had another terrible stroke, and her husband goes into morning, and then he meets another young lovely in her 20's. >> i think of her as the madonna of first ladies. she posed as a model at a time that was frowned upon, by all accounts was bewitching. >> there were 90 slaves, and they were her supervision. julia lobbied for her husband, and she supported him tremendously in everything she did. >> untimely death, a secret marriage, and outsize personality are stories of the
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women we examined tonight. good evening, and welcome to season series of first ladies. william henry harrison was in office, and a month later, he dies. to learn about time, we have the chair of the history department, and she has been many times ons this series. nice to see you again. school children have all grown up with the phrase, tippecanoe tyler too. he was elected at age of 68, a record no president beat until ronald reagan. who was this?
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>> i announce with a bit of pride he was from my home county, but he moved to ohio. he was a military man initially. he studied medicine for a short time and decided to join the military and shortly thereafter moved to ohio. he became the territorial governor of indiana and was a noted indian fighter. the term tippecanoe comes from the battle of tippecanoe, where he fought with his brother. as territorial governor, tyler was -- harrison was instrumental in securing land for white settlers, and that clashed with native american interest, so i've done battle, considered the victor.
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-- at that battle, harrison was considered the victor. it carried him into public office. >> his wife was not happy about him being drawn back into politics. we have a quote from her that says, i wish my husband's friends have left him where he was, happy and contented. how was he drawn into politics again? let's talk about what type of political spouse he was. >> it is an interesting time, because it is the time of the second american party system.
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there are two distinct parties, the democratic party with andrew jackson as leader and the whig party. william henry harrison becomes a member of the weak party after it was founded. he was the first candidate for the whig party after it was founded. he was the first candidate for that party in 1836. the democrats were divided enough they could win. >> anna harrison had been with him through a long political career. what do we know about her? religious she was a woman. we know she was a reluctance
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first lady. she did not get to be first lady and the white house, because the day her husband and other members of the family left to go to washington, she was too to travel. up day she was all packed and ready to join him in washington was the day she got notification he died. >> how did he die? >> that is an interesting question. the answer was always that he was not going to wear a top hat and topcoat to his inauguration, and he was exposed to cold weather and caught a cold and died. i think it is more complex than that. he was an older gentleman. he was exhausted by office seekers in the first month of his presidency, and i think all of that compromised his health, so he did eventually catch a bad cold that turns into pneumonia, and as a consequence, he did die.
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>> anna harrison was the first first lady to have a public education. but she certainly did read political journals, but i do not believe she was a political person. i do not believe she would have the role other first ladies would later on, especially the person who follows her. the second person, john tyler's second wife, but at least during the time, even though she did not come to the white house, she did use her influence to get appointments for her nephews and sons and grandsons, so she have been political in that way but not the way he would think of with someone like julia tyler. >> which we will learn more of tonight. and this comment, she must have had good genes. what was going on in the harrison family that it so many political
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leaders? >> they were one of the first families of virginia, so you would have had them be involved in the revolution. ofy have a long history political involvement. i think it is where they are located by the mid 1800's in the northwest territory, in this area that is opening up in the country, and these men are getting politically involved because of its. >> our facebook page asks, is it true she helped raise her son who became president? any influence she had on her son who became president? >> her home burned, and she went
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to live with one of the sons. what influence she had, we do not know. grandma's to have an influence. >> there was only a month in the white house, but there were social things and had to happen. how did that role get fulfilled without first lady? >> there were two other women who carry out her duties. one was jane irving harrison, who was a widow. she was married to one of the harrison men, but he died. now william henry asked her to serve in that capacity, and she
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was assisted by one of her aunts. she gave her some guidance. she was not the official hostess, but she did give guidance. >> is it true dolly madison also was around to offer advice? >> i think she offered advice whenever she got away with it. she would have been nearby from time to time. >> one last thing legacy was she was the first presidential window to get attention for her service. how did that happen? >> for husband died in office, and she needed the assistance, so congress inappropriate $35,000 for her. >> which was not an on substantial amount of money.
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when he dies in office this is the first time this has happened. did it create a constitutional crisis? >> it certainly did. the constitution does indicate if the president is not there, those duties on the vice president, but it did not say what the status of that person would be. would he be carrying out the duties as vice president, as acting president, or as the new
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president, sir john tyler decided he was not going to let them thing too long about it, so he declared himself president, and he had congress pass resolutions declaring him president. not everyone agrees with that, so occasionally mail came to new the white house addressed to the acting president or the vice president, and he had those documents returned unopened. >> who was tyler? >> he was born in virginia. he lived only a couple of miles down the road from the harrison a state. he was born in green way. he was an interesting president,
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because although he was elected on the ticket with william henry harrison, he had been a jacksonian democrats early on in his political career and had joined the whig party, but once he became president, he abandoned the weak platform and angered them. >> we are going to learn more about the john tyler presidency and the women who served as his first lady. we are going to introduce you to the lives they had not been what we call colonial williamsburg. >> when john tyler resigned from the senate, he and his wife and their families moved here to williamsburg to establish a law practice. he reconstructed his law office. the house they live in was no longer here. they were situated in the center of the town. the court house is right across
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the street. this is the beating heart of williamsburg, even in the 1830's, so all of the political activity, the social activity, they are living in the center of it in this fantastic 18th- century house. john tyler was resurrected in his political career. she is going to be operating of the house. right here, letitia tyler suffered a stroke in 1839. that partly would paralyze her, although she was able to regain
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control of the family business while john tyler was getting involved in politics. it was in this space john tyler learned he was elected as vice president to william henry harrison, and it was also here in the spring of 1841 he was informed he became the 10th president of the united states, and it was here that she learned she became the first lady of the united states. >> now we are back on set, and joining us is the gentleman you saw on the video. he is a colonial williamsburg historian. he is also an expert on the area where the tylers hail from. give us a sense of what kind of characteristics of a person of public life would bring from the office from having been there. >> i think when you are talking about virginia, you are getting over the american revolution, not letting go of thomas jefferson and the kind of revolutionary principles but are supposed to inform public conduct and public virtue, but by the time you get to john tyler's career, those things start to coalesce into notions about states' rights, notions
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about what is the proper use of the constitution, notions about the extent of authority. you hear them talk a great deal about the principles of 1798, about the kentucky resolution and the ability of the states to override a unconstitutional actions, so these principles of the american revolution are being fought over, but also the kinds of things that come from the expectation of a public leader. they need to be virtuous. that is the only way you can make a good public policy. >> stephanie johnson wants to know where did they meet.
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>> they met where almost everybody meets at the time. in williamsburg. they lived not that far from each other. john tyler is from charleston county in a place called green way, and letitia tyler is from kent county, which is only a stone's throw away, and we know they met in about 1811 or 1812. john tyler went to william and mary with letitia's brother. they were the same age. they were 21 and 22 when they met, and they fell in love very quickly. >> we have been incorporating your tweets. can also call us. we are hoping you texans call up, because this administration
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was responsible for the annexation of texas. the tylers have a lot of children. >> it is what kept them apart for a great deal of their married lives. constitutionally incapable of being out of public office. he was addicted to it so left her at home to run the family, to run the business, and to continue to manage this incredible group of children they had almost from the very start. >> running their plantation would have been how large an operation? >> one of the issues is a are
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always on the very edge of solvency, so they never live one place more than 10 years. they are always moving around. they own between 30 and 35 slaves, and they are growing wheat and corn for about 600 acres to 900 acres, and that is between plantations. they then moved to the other side of virginia, so they are continuing to try to figure out a way during these striking economic changes to the country and go into what is going on in 1837, to find a way they can keep their heads above water, and with john tyler gone for so long and so often, six months out of every year while the is in public office, this leaves a lot of burden resting on letitia's shoulders.
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>> this was a tough woman. she had a stroke and was paralyzed and continued to handle operations. >> that is indicative of the kind of life women live, even wealthy women. life was tough for them, but it was made easier for them by enslaved laborers, and they did use those to great advantage for them. >> what is known for their attitude at this point toward slavery? >> we know quite a bit.
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john tyler is one of the staunchest supporters of slavery that ever inhabited the white house. he was vocal about it through most of his career, and he said, slavery is the greatest property a southerner can own. backbonees it is the of society. letitia we know less about. we know from a story that ends up in abolitionist press in the 19th century of a former enslaved man who had been a member of a christian family who recalled that john taylor may have been less kind to enslave men and women in the field, but when it came to the enslaved men and women in the household, he stopped right there. they were under letitia's protection. they were treated well. you could read into a story like that, but john tyler's views were consistent.
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letitia was different. >> here is 1840 view of america through the senses. the population reached 17 million in 26 states. we consistently see 30%. slaves #2.5 million, which is almost 15% of the population, and new orleans joins the list of the largest cities in the united states. we heard about the tylers and their attitude toward slavery. give us an indication of what was happening in 1840. >> this is a tremendous time of sexual tension. we like to think the country is divided regionally, that everyone in the north is anti slavery and everyone in the south is proslavery. it is not that simple. people in the north benefited
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from slavery and the slave until it was ended. they now move into a different economic arena. they no longer need slavery, and slippery as a threat to them because of the free labor system in the north, and the kinds of the economy that is needed to preserve institutions in the north are different from those in the south, so what is happening in congress is both groups want to control legislation, because if you are in more industrialized regions, we want certain parts of laws passed to preserve the economy. if you are more agrarian, you will need laws to support that. there is a tremendous amount of
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concern about the expansion of slavery. it is not so much the northerners are anti slavery because they are humanitarian. it is because of how slavery impacts them or how expansion impacts them. >> our first caller from michigan. >> and now i love the series. i would like to know what is the duration of both of the president's marriages, and how many children would he have as a result of those marriages? thank you so much.
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>> i saw one book and referred to john tyler was the father of our country. >> i think they have 16 or 17 children. >> i did the total was 15. now there were 8 by letitia and 7 by julia. >> he was married to letitia for 29 years, and he was married to julia for 18. >> the tylers learn of the fact they are coming to the white house and he is the 10th president of the united states. her health is precarious. how does she carry out the role as first lady? >> it depends on how you define
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the role. what is first lady? is it somebody married to the president, or do they have to fulfill these roles? she is by nature a retired person. she prefers a quiet life. now she does not like the kind of quiet activities of first lady who would normally associate with. even without her illness, i think it would have been a fairly quiet white house. that does not mean there are other people to fulfill these roles. that means she has to have other people do it for them. it is a close-knit family. they have a lot of daughters living in the white house. she turned that over to them. >> gary robinson asked, what role did priscilla cooper have in the white house and after her death? >> she served as hostess, and especially with the daughter, letitia, she is an interested person, because she was an actress at a time when it was not a good thing.
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it was not considered respectable, but the tylers and accepted her. letitia accepted her. she was very close to her. she would have been performing most of the functions. it is not so much that she was not doing anything. even though she was disabled, she is still giving orders from her bedroom. she cannot go out the way her daughter can. >> do we have any evidence his daughter counseled him?
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>> yes. she said, stay out of it. couldtalk about it, he not stay out of politics. she gave up. as we mentioned over and over again, he respected her prudence and judgment that political issues he reserved those for conversations with his male friends. >> there were conversations about whether there should be appropriations for this vice- president but assumed the presidency and whether they should pay for his time in the white house, yet you ascertain they pay for so much. how did they do that? >> they did not appropriate
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money. the white house was and i absolute mess at that time. he must have used his own funds to entertain people, and they did entertain lavishly. >> how did they do that? >> you assume a lot of this is coming out of the salary. one of the people who was most extravagant was john tyler himself. he spends most of his life handing his family, trying to keep them outside of it, yet there are lavish entertainment, so for some they are taking a page out of the book. she will hold two formal dinner
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parties every week. every other week she will do public receptions in the evenings. she will hold public parties every month that will have as many as 1000 people. she opened the white house on new year's eve. she opened the white house on july 4. she started the tradition on the south lawn. they are finding ways to do that. they might be doing it with mirrors, because congress does not appropriate a cent for the upkeep of the white house during his term as president. >> next, a call from marvin in los angeles. >> by next question has to do with the constitution. it says, the electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for two persons, for whom cannot be from the same state.
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if both of them came from the same county, how can they be president and vice president? my second part is, is it true tyler was called his accidency because of the way he took over as president through the death of harrison? >> thank you for the question. >> first, they were born in charles city county. they were not living there at the time they were elected. harrison was in ohio. john tyler was in virginia but harrison was in ohio. the other question was about -- his accidentcy, which don't think he was called. >> one of the nicer questions. >> absolutely. the accidental president forced his accidentcy because nobody expected john tile wore ascend to the presidency. >> what kind of issues did he face when he came to office? >> there are personal ones and then there are broader political ones. personal ones are that people didn't trust him. they didn't like him.
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they didn't expect he would be on in the first place. he wasn't even the first choice of being vice presidential candidate for the wig party. so they were fine with letting had go out and live in waynesburg while william harrison was in the white house. those are personal things he had to live with. political issues, there's certainly the issue over the renewal of the bank of the united states. major issues also over the tariffs and protective tariffs
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and any funds, depending upon what part of the country you lived in on what was protected and what wasn't. the biggest one that's comes up to define the presidency is really about the expansion of slavery is the annexation of texas and what that means for the sense of the republic or weakness that you think it has on slavery. >> next, call from harold watching us in sioux city, iowa. >> thank you for taking my call. i really enjoy the program. my question is you had a number of talks about jackson and tyler and they both had slaves. how did those slaves fair after and during the civil war? and were those plantations burnt by the yankees? how did that come out? i will hang up and let you answer it. thank you. >> certainly, the union army is coming through twice actually, as a consequence of mcclelland's peninsula campaign. and each time that the union army comes through, the population leaves. they take the opportunity to leave.
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what's happening in charles city on the tyler plantation, sherwood forest, is that julia has left, he's fled and gone to new york to staten island to live with her mother. peoplee are enslaved left behind. and it is reported that some of them take over the plantation. certainly, the house is, there are some things that are done by the union army probably and perhaps by local people as well. the plantation is in a bit of a mess when the war is over, which is not that unusual for plantations in certain areas of the south at that time. they certainly do inflate -- enslaved people certainly do suffer during the war but they
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get their freedom as a consequence of it as well. so there's an incident where julia writes to president lincoln because one of her neighbors, who is a notorious professionist is arrested by the army and it happens to be part of the union army who is under the control of general wilde, who is commander of the african brigade. and some of the people who are attached to that unit had been enslaved by this gentleman, william clockton. and they were allowed to beat him and julia is absolutely enraged at the idea. she is also concerned as well that her niece is left behind so she's concerned about her well being. but she actually writes to president lincoln and complains about it and she signs her letter, mrs. ex-president tyler. she loved to use that. >> we have not even introduced julia into our tale yet. tell us about the death of
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letitia tyler in the white house. >> she died september 10 in 1842. she had a massive stroke. >> did she die instantly? >> there's no evidence that there's any kind of lingering. that she dies fairly quickly. and it's -- it hits the family like a ton of bricks. >> what there a white house funeral for her? >> not that we know of. they kept things very private. in fact, she was buried at her home, the place in new kent county, rather then at greenway quarter, rather then anyplace else that they may have lived. she was buried at home with her parents. it was also a very, very quiet, very quiet event but it was
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mostly manifested in the kind of impact that it had on her children. they were devastated. >> what about the president himself? what was his reaction to losing his wife? >> at the time from his letters, we know that he was obviously emotionally attached to letitia. she had been a huge part of his life for a very long time and he loved her dearly. however, we also have evidence that he seen julia gardiner tyler probably four months after her death. >> who is julia gardiner? >> who is julia gardiner, richard norton-smith called madonna of the period. julia gardiner is a -- she's a young woman from long island, new york, from east hampton from where in fact anna harrison had gone to school. she is from a very well-known, longstanding new york family, deep in the 17th century they owned gardiner's island and family still owns gardiner's island and her father was a new york state senator. they were in washington frequently for the social seasons. and she was well known at the white house and was well known to the daughters of the tylers was even known to come over not just for the parties but do things like quiet games of whisk. so the family knew her quite
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well. she was quite beautiful and quite rambunctious and was very well educated both here and in europe. so it made her quite -- quite a troubling woman to be around. >> and she quickly caught the widow president's eye. >> she quickly caught the widow president's eyes. this moved shockingly quickly. >> when we have to establish difference in age between the two. >> yes. julia gardiner is 30 years almost exactly younger -- was years younger then john tyler and so when they got married, she was 24 and he was 54. >> one of the amazing things we told you how many children john tyler had. one of his grandchildren is still alive, and inhabits sherwood forest, which is the
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tylers' home in the virginia area. you're looking at a picture of it now. he and his wife are residents of the house but make it available for tourists. harrison tyler is his name. he's 84. we visited him recently in sherwood forest, tylers' home, where told us the story of the fateful events that brought julia and john tyler together. >> so in march of 1844, the ship came to the anacostia naval yard in washington and sailed down the potomac. when they got to the ft. belvedere to put a barge out into the bay. fired a cannon at the barge. doesn't report whether they hit it or not but everyone was pleased. the ship turned around and headed back to washington. the hard-core said let's fire it again. they sent a request, let's stop the ship and fire the gun. but it was turned down. at that point somebody looked over and they're passing mt.
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vernon. so the request was changed to stop the ship and fire the gun in honor of our first president. they couldn't turn that down. but when the ship did face downstream the gunner fired the cannon. the gun instead of firing, the right ditch blew out and killed seven people. among them son of gardiner, secretary of state, thomas gilner, secretary of the navy. everybody downstairs felt the ship when the gun exploded the ship jerked. so handsome young officers that were surrounding my grandmother, who was 23 years old at the time but very beautiful, my grandfather, he had been trying to get to her and talk to her and couldn't because of all of the handsome young male officers around. when the explosion occurred and ship shook, they rushed to go upstairs and do what it is they're trained to do and left her standing there. she knew her father was up there so she followed behind them. my grandfather is behind her to go up the steps of the deck.
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they came running back calling out, don't let miss gardiner follow. her father is dead. when she heard that, my grandmother fainted right back into the arms of the president. he caught her tenderly and gently. so the ship did go and dock and when it docked, he picked her up and carried her down the gang plank. as she was going down the gang plank, she came to. later she told her mother the first thing she remembered was going down the plank in the arms of the president and she struggled and her head, it felt into the quick of his arm and she could look up into his eyes and she wrote her mother saying, i realized for the first time that the president loved me dearly. >> we told you at the outset there would be a tale of the secret marriage. so tell the story. >> june 26, 1844. it's only four months after the disaster of the uss princeton. so julia's father only been dead four months. so there's still a period of mourning that should be publicly and appropriately observed but he has -- john tyler had secured even in that rough period of time, secured the permission of her mother for
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them to get married. she was worried about his financial situation, whether or not he would be able to continue her into the manner that she was accustom and when he was able to do that sufficiently, she gave her permission. so they had a very, very small, private, secret wedding. at an episcopal church in new york city. only a handful of people there. one of his sons, a couple of his political friends and a few members of her family. but the public didn't know about it until the next day. >> the president disappears from washington, checks himself into a hotel in new york city and gets married. >> uh-huh.
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yeah. he's just going off to basically, he's going to take a little bit of a location and pops up in new york city. and then it's in the new york city next day. by the way, the president has just gotten married to one of new york's most prominent families. >> what was the reaction at the time? >> people goss gyp -- gossips about it. it was too soon after his wife's death even though it was not so soon after the death. but they were very much concerned of the age difference. many people thinking it was unfair to julia that she was married to this man who was so much old 0er then she was. so a lot of people didn't like it. his daughters certainly did not. >> they thought it was too soon after. >> they were very loyal to their mother understandably. but there was one daughter who never got over it, letitia. and the other daughters made their peace. and the sons never seemed to have a problem with it. but that one daughter never reconciled with her stepmother. >> here is julia tile was quite a letter writer. here's one letter she wrote to her mother, secrecy of the affair is on the tongue and the admiration of everyone. everyone says it was the best- managed thing they ever heard of. >> the secret was, yeah.
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>> let's go on to this because this could be rather self- revealing. the president says, i am the best of the diplomatists. i have commenced my auspicious reign and am in the quiet possession of the presidential mansion. this is a 24-year-old woman. what should we learn from this quote about her? >> she sees herself as queen of the land. she had spent some time in europe. after she had very notoriously posed for an engraving where she was advertising a product, a store actually. and that is something that respectable woman did not do during that period. so her parents had taken -- she
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and her sister to europe where they were introduced at the court of louis philip of france. and she admired how the queen received her guests. and it was on -- she was seated, of course, and on a bit of a pedestal. so julia decided to do the same thing for a time. but she saw it very much as she was the first lady of the land and she was going to make the most of it. >> from a family perspective, president asked, he had children older then his second wife. >> yes, his oldest daughter was several years older then julia. >> what was the family reaction? >> the family reaction, it was, at first, among the daughters, it was very negative and very -- that it took, letitia never reconciled to it. libby, it was three months before she even acknowledged that the marriage had taken
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place. for the youngest daughter that she -- she eventually came around. oldest daughter came around. but the sons were already familiar enough with julia that they were -- they were ok with it by then. >> reading that quote, do we have the sense that this was a young woman with great aspirations or was this really a love match? >> i think that there's probably a little bit of both in that. tough for us to divide it out. mainly because the correspondence that exists between them and whatever happened in terms of their courtship, we know that john is head over heels for her. and we know that he's writing shakespearean sonnets to her. we know he's engaging in that kind of -- in that kind of very cavalieresque way of -- way of courting her.
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with her, the -- it depends on who you believe in terms of what were her goals are. in the end, she ends up being biggest supporter and biggest defender. and thanks to very timely advice from her mother, was able to really put that -- was really able to put that into action. >> next is the question from claire in owings mills, maryland. hi, claire. >> hi, i just wanted to say a few years ago a couple of us went to the sherwood plantation and tyler's grandson was there and he spoke to us for about an hour he was very gracious. i wonder if you can just discuss a little bit about their connection with william and mary. thank you. >> their connection with william and mary goes back to the very beginning. you cannot separate william and mary from the tyler family at all, even to the present day of the tylers go there. harrison's father, lionel gardiner tyler was president of william and mary. his father john tyler had obviously -- the president had bonn to william and mary and had been chancellor at william mary.
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his father john had go to william and mary and the place is as tied with the tylers as the university of virginia is tied with thomas jefferson. >> another quote, which may give some indication of the match between the tylers. this is julia writing about the president again, alert to her mother. really, do you think there was ever a man so equal to any emergency? it was a sort of inspiration, for his ideas are expressed at the moment of any emergency with perfect fluency and effect. question from rachel davidson -- how did julia gardiner, a northerner, feel about becoming a slave owner upon her marriage to john tyler. >> that's an easy one. she comes from a family of slave owners. new york does not abolish slavery until 1813. there are slaves at gardiner island earned by her family she's born 1820, she's as much born into the slaving culture as anyone living in the time. >> war their slaves then? >> there must have been. tylers would have brought slaves with them.
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we know when the peacemaker, the gun blew up on the princeton, one of the enslaved men owned by tyler was killed. so clearly he had some of his enslaved people there in the white house with him. >> now, talked earlier about julia's daughter doing this advertisement, she earned the moniker the rose of long island. she brought the sense and sensibility to her job, eight month as first lady. it is written in some books she actually had the services of what would be thought of a press agent.
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>> she's the hanna august. >> the president himself didn't have a press tie to publicity. >> not at all. >> the more notorious, the better. she made it a point of cultivating the friendship of a reporter and she would report what was happening in the white house, news of social events and he gave her a lot of personal attention in the articles that he wrote about her. so she was out there in a way that, as i indicated before, respectable women did not do. but this is a new era. this is a time when the women's movement is under way and interestingly enough, you know, someone like julia tyler sort of fits in to a certain extent. some very conservative in ways but in terms of breaking through the traditional way that a woman should behave, she's doing it in a way that women are not at that time. >> well, this seers is called influence and image. so let's spend a few minutes on this image question with julia tyler. in addition to having loving publicity as you describe her and having someone help her her press, she had these
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young women who traveled with her. they became known as the vestal virgins. who were they? how is she using them? >> well, it seem what's she did was develop her own court. and perhaps was not alone but the notion that a first lady could not possibly be seen alone, that there is -- she is representing and this is an interesting point by the development of the institution, that she's representing something much bigger and so she had these young women who were joining her. called them the vestal virgins and a number of different things depending upon which newspaper you were reading but that she really believed that she was representing something much bigger then just being the wife of the president. and to do that t. requires display. it requires a very conscience shaping of image as an element of political communication. which gets back to the point you just made. >> she receives her guests surrounded by these women all dressed in white.
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>> what was the public reaction to this? did they love it or criticize it? >> she seemed to be able to do no wrong. she had her critics but a lot people loved her. especially men. she also brought dancing to the white house. >> right. she brought the waltz. she brought the polka. she brought a number of things to the white house. but i think that when you're starting -- you're starting to get into the perceptions of that. it does work both ways, that --
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especially with the growth of the abolitionist press. that the abolitionist press starts to see these kinds of things julia's doing in the white house, level of extravagance as being yet another example of the corruption of the slave party. how particularly it's been a distressed economic period, how can they possibly be doing that? the only way they could be doing that is they're gathering and benefits from the fact they own other people. so in terms of the growth of that abolitionist press and the abolitionists send people just to keep an eye on the tyler white house and report back on things like this. that what julia is doing is in fact in some quarters very different to that broader image while in other quarters, it's very beneficial to supporting the idea of the presidency. >> here's what to an certain extent she redeems herself when she responds to the duchess of sutherland, who criticized slavery in america. she writes a letter back and says pretty much, you need to take care of business at home. you've got people from the lower classes there are who starving. so she doesn't say slavery is right.
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but she does imply that slavery is not as bad as what's happening. >> joe in pennsylvania, you're on for our panel. go on, please. >> hi, i love your series. >> what's your question? >> i read somewhere john tyler played the violin and did any of his wives play any musical instrument? >> thank you. do we know. >> i haven't the faintest clue. he certainly played the vial anne and if you go to sherwood forest, you can see the violin. >> and julia played the guitar. >> she played the guitar. imageaking of music and making, it said she was the one to have the idea "hail to the chief" being played whenever he entered the room. >> it may have been mrs. polk. >> no evidence? >> yes. >> we will get to that next. advance here. she was obviously from the photographs of her just rather fashion conscience and wore beautiful outfits. did she become a trend setter for women at the time? >> i don't know. >> had it become the point, do we know, women were beginning to watch what the first lady were and imitate these things?
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>> i think this gets into the development of mass communication of the period and really what your able to do in terms of emulating dress. that while engravings are certainly appearing in more and more newspapers, you're still relying mainly on the written word in order to get across the impression of any kinds of any kind of clothing. and in a particular way you might be able to set the trend if she's wearing a veil or dolly madison or something like that. but for the most part, it's not until much later when there are many more images that are able to show up in a more sophisticated, technologically speaking american press that you're able to get to the point where you have trends that can be identified in order to -- in order to move on. >> julia tyler was also very political and interested in her husband's political career. we move on to the influence part of her role as first lady. again, each short month she was
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in this role, she was very much involved in a major policy issue that we've talked about or referenced already and that's the annexation of texas. we turn to sherwood forest, where the spouse of the president's grandson, talks about julia's lobbying for this policy. let's listen. >> she loved him politically, phenomenally, my dear, for her husband. she had soirees at the white house to lobby. tyler was immensely dedicated to the concept of the annexation of texas to the union. and during that period she was able to sway john c. calhoun, a kinsman of my mother's, from carolina and able to sway john c. calhoun to vote for the annexation of texas and she worked on him but don't know if she was successful or not but she took henry clay out to dinner. this is a woman without a chap rhone, a president's wife, alone having dinner with him and she didn't mind at all. she wrote her mother a letter, which i think is priceless. she says, mother, mr. clay was a little insulting. when i told him that my husband wanted him to vote for the annexation of texas, he said to

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